Lew Kent knew it was a special year for Hilton Head High sports. The school's trophy case proved that much.
But he suspected it may have been more exceptional than any other program in the state. So he began to make some phone calls.
A returned call Thursday morning confirmed his suspicion: Hilton Head High has won the 10th annual S.C. Athletic Administrators Association Directors Cup -- also referred to as the AD Cup. The final standings for the Class 3-A AD Cup haven't yet been compiled, but the Seahawks have won by a large margin, SCAAA executive John Carlisle said in an email Thursday.
The AD Cup compiles each school's state playoff finishes in more than 20 sports during a single school year and uses a point system to determine its winner.
"Our student-athletes and our coaches are dedicated people," said Kent, who is in his third and final year as Hilton Head High's AD. "They work really hard with a common goal to be the best they can be."
In many instances, nobody was better. The Seahawks added five Class 3-A state titles to their trophy case during the 2010-11 school year -- boys cross country and track, and girls swimming, tennis and soccer all won state championships.
Hilton Head High also finished second in three events: girls golf, cross country and volleyball.
The Seahawks have finished in the top-three in the AD Cup standings in all five years they have participated in Class 3-A, but this is their first title. J.L. Mann won last year's AD Cup, but it moved up to Class 4-A this year.
Kent said Thursday afternoon he planned to announce the title at the school's athletics banquet Thursday night.
"What a great feeling to get that news at the end of the school year and be able to announce it at the athletics banquet," Kent said. "I didn't throw one pitch or shoot one basket, so I don't take any credit. I'm happy for them.
"They can take pride that Hilton Head High was the best athletics program in the state of South Carolina this year."
A YEAR TO REMEMBER
Hilton Head High collected five state titles this school year and finished second in three more events.